The seventh annual Istanbul Photo Awards’ winners were announced this week, with the top prize going to Mohammed Shajahan from Bangladesh. Shajahan wins the purse prize of $6,000 from Turkey’s distinguished news service Anadolu Agency.
The Photo of the Year Award in Istanbul Photo Awards went to Mohammed Shajahan, for his photo called “Mom Love”.
Istanbul Photo Awards is a photography contest held annually by Turkey’s top news agency Anadolu Agency to support photojournalists. This year’s competition was especially difficult given the dire circumstances around the world because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the seventh iteration of the Istanbul Photo Awards, the international jury members deliberated on more than a thousand photographers’ works before selecting a handful of images as winners.
“Mom Love”, a photograph submitted by Bangladeshi photographer Mohammed Shajahan, won the first prize from among nearly 15,000 photographs that were competing for the honour. He won $6,000 for his photo.
In the Single News category, AFP photojournalist Yuri Cortez was deemed worthy of receiving the second prize with his photograph that depicted prisoners in the Quezaltepeque prison in El Salvador. He won $1,500 for his photo.
The third-place award went to AP photojournalist Petros Giannakouris for his photograph showing the difficulties encountered by refugees who fled the camp they had been placed in in Greece. His prize was $1,000.
The awards reflected the variety of stories that took place in the world, beyond the coronavirus pandemic which dominated the global news agenda.
For the Istanbul Photo Awards 2021, the jury consisted of Reuters photojournalist Goran Tomasevic, NOOR Agency photojournalist Yuri Kozyrev, visual storyteller Marion Mertens, AFP Former Director of Photo Business Development Michel Scotto, author and photojournalist Deborah Copaken, Getty Images chief sports photojournalist Cameron Spencer, photojournalist Ahmet Sel, Anadolu Agency Visual News Editor-in-Chief Hasan Oymez, and Anadolu Agency Photo Editor Firat Yurdakul.
The members of the jury were not able to meet in person because of the coronavirus pandemic, but were able to choose winning photographs via a platform that was designed exclusively for the contest by the Anadolu Agency Information Technologies team.
Anadolu Agency Chairman of the Board and Director-General Serdar Karagoz noted the difficult conditions in which photojournalists and press members find themselves, while doing their job with utter dedication.
"As Anadolu Agency, we continue supporting the sector with all-out strength through the Istanbul Photo Awards contest. By taking the contest to the next level each year, we support news photography which witnesses the moments [of news]," he said.
Pointing out the great interest in the contest worldwide, Karagoz said "Some 1,206 photographers of 96 different nationalities joined the contest with a total of 14,740 photographs."
He noted that the quality of the photographs that participants entered into the contest increased yearly, and jury members had a great challenge before them while selecting from among them.
"Becoming a platform where 12,000 photographers have registered in the seventh round of the contest highlights the quality of Istanbul Photo Awards,” Karagoz said. “Our jury –– consisting of the prestigious names of the world of photography –– selected the winners on a platform that we prepared specially for the platform due to the pandemic. I thank each of them for their contributions to the contest."